It is an undoubted economy to buy certain materials in large quantities ; by so doing the price per pound is much less, and the weight of paper bags and the turn of the scales are saved. The poor who buy coals by the hundredweight pay far more than those householders who can lay in a store at summer prices at the end of August. Apples by the barrel, potatoes by the sack, oranges by the box, are much less expensive than when bought in small quantities. The only difficulties are that poorer people have not always the ready-money to lay out, and that they often have little or no space for storage.
The ideal arrangement is to have a cool, dry room, fitted with cupboards, shelves, drawers, a table, and a pair of scales, so that all stores may be weighed on arrival, and any mistake at once perceived. A store-book should be kept, in which, on the day of arrival, the date of purchase, price, and quantity of all stores should be entered; in this way it is easy to calculate what quantities are on an average required for a given time, and extravagant use can thus be detected. The mistress should have a stated time for giving out stores, and each maid should bring her jars, etc., to be replenished, asking for anything she may require. A slate and pencil should be hung up, so that any stock which is getting low may be jotted down.
One cupboard should contain grocery stores ; another devoted to cleaning materials, such as soap, soft soap, soda, black lead, metal polish, bathbrick, etc. A shelf should also be given up to supplies of turpentine, methylated spirit, permanganate of potash, etc.
In a locked cupboard the poisonous liquids should be kept, such as Carbolic Acid, Ammonia, Hydrochloric Acid, and the poisons Oxalic Acid, Salts of Lemon or Salts of Sorrel, each one being carefully labelled and marked "Poison."
One drawer should contain a stock of kitchen paper, dessert and fish d'oyleys; another a reserve stock of house-flannel, dishcloths, dusters, chamois leathers; and it is wise to have some space kept apart for the supply of various sorts of household brushes.
A storeroom should daily be well flushed with air; the shelves should be wiped daily, and weekly they should be scrubbed, also the floor and table, to ensure that absolute cleanliness which is most essential. Jams and pickles should be placed on the lower shelves, as heated air ascends, and thus they are rendered more liable to fermentation if kept in a high place.
This should be bought by the hundredweight, cut into squares with an old knife or piece of string, and kept some time to harden; it thus becomes drier and does not waste so much when used. Good yellow soap is invaluable, costing 7/6 for 7/6 bars of 3 lbs. each. Carbolic soap is wholesome and cleansing. Scrubbing soap is economical for its own particular purpose. Soft soap is used for various purposes.